SAINT PETERSBURG Russia (Xinhua) --
Neymar is certain to start in Brazil’s World Cup
Group E match against Costa Rica here despite limping out of
training during the week, coach Tite said on Thursday.
completed a 90-minute training session with Brazil’s squad and
looked untroubled by an ankle problem that forced him to leave a
practice session early on Tuesday.
When asked if the
Paris Saint-Germain forward would be available to play on
Thursday were it not a World Cup match, Tite replied: “Yes, yes.
It’s not a sacrifice. It’s an evolutionary process, you just
speed up the steps. Yes, he would be playing. It’s not a
“We want to win,
it’s a World Cup, but the coach is not going to risk a player’s
health by being dishonest to him. That’s a price that’s too high
“Those values of
health and honesty, no way, there’s no compromise.”
Tite said last week
that Neymar was yet to reach full fitness after undergoing
surgery to repair a broken fifth metatarsal in his right foot in
March. The 26-year-old spent more than three months on the
sidelines before making a scoring return in Brazil’s 2-0
friendly victory over Croatia on June 3.
Neymar played the
full 90 minutes in Brazil’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland in their
opening World Cup fixture on Sunday, the first time he has seen
out an entire match since February.
He was targeted for
some rough treatment by the Swiss and the 10 fouls he suffered
was the most for any player in a World Cup game since Alan
Shearer in 1998.
“He had a knock, but
I think it was the first time in three-and-a-half months he
played 90 minutes,” Tite said.
“We are calm. Five
matches is the minimum you need to be fully fit and he has
already sped up the process.”
Serbia, who beat
Costa Rica in their first match here, lead Group E with three
points while Brazil and Switzerland have one point each.
Hazzard says Belgium needs
Lukaku to come up in World Cup 2nd game
MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) --
Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku may have been one
of the heroes of the World Cup first round group games with two
second half goals helping his side to a 3-0 triumph over Panama,
but that didn’t stop him coming in for criticism from Belgium
captain Eden Hazzard.
Hazzard said that
Lukaku had been “hiding” in the first half against Panama and in
an interview broadcast by Sky Sports on Thursday morning he
stood by his original words.
“As the captain, I
can talk,” he explained. “I try to give my best on the pitch and
if I can help players be better then I will,” continued Hazzard.
“I told Romelu (at
halftime) that if we wanted to win the game, we need him, not
just to score goals, but for him to be involved in the build up
and things like that,” he said.
“We talked normally
and we won the game and everything was fine,” said Hazzard, who
also looked ahead to Saturday’s second Group G game against a
Tunisia side that lost 2-1 to England in their opening match.
“If we beat Tunisia
we go through, so we need to give everything against them and
then we will play England,” commented Hazzard, who was not
taking anything for granted.
“You never know what
could happen against England, they have good players and they
are strong and they can create a lot of chances, so if we beat
Tunisia, it will be better for us,” he said.
“Every game in the
World Cup is very hard to play and we saw how the reigning
champions, Germany lost their first game. We know the quality of
our team and the importance of playing together. We’re not just
11 players on the pitch, we are 23 in the group and we need to
be united,” he stressed.